Monday, April 11, 2005

Foes cite progress vs. Bush agenda

Foes cite progress vs. Bush agenda
Say strategy fuels GOP infighting
By Rick Klein, Globe Staff | April 11, 2005
WASHINGTON -- Senior Democrats are increasingly confident that they have blocked Republicans plans for historic breakthroughs in legislation under GOP control of the White House and Congress, declaring that the Democratic strategy of unified opposition to major items on the leadership agenda has succeeded in turning Republicans against themselves.

Democratic leaders say the focus on opposition, rather than on their own legislative proposals, has allowed them to hold up President Bush's plans to remake Social Security. They are honing a message that highlights what they portray as Republican abuses of power, and say their new level of party discipline is forcing Republicans to wrestle with their own divisions over judicial confirmations, foreign affairs, and taxing and spending.

''The Democratic caucus has never been as unified, and you've seen it on Social Security, the budget, and judges," said Senate minority leader Harry Reid of Nevada. ''It took a while for us to realize that we weren't in the majority. I think, though, we have learned the lesson well. And we have also learned that the majority party won't be in the majority forever....."